It is beyond dispute that non-employee labor is continuing to represent an increasing percentage of the overall workforce. Research by supply chain management advisory firm, Ardent Partners, reveals that 95% of organizations today regard contingent workforce resources as vital to both daily operations and successful enterprise growth. Yet a far lower percentage of organizations attain best-in-class status in the execution of workforce management strategies. Ardent urges businesses to follow the lead of top-performing organizations by developing exceptional capabilities in the areas of intelligence, visibility, quality and compliance. Nothing new in these aspirations. But how close is your program to achieving best-in-class status? And how is best-in-class defined?
According to the Ardent Partners report, there are a number of indicators of excellence in pursuit of superior contingent workforce management. Best-in-class organizations achieve several key performance advantages differentiating them from the rest. These include:
- A wider scope data capture and intelligence activity underpinning more detailed long-term enterprise planning.
- Better than 94% higher rate of cost savings through the application of superior procurement principles.
- Quality Index Scores (a metric developed by Ardent) at or above 70% higher than all other similar organizations
These are not the only benchmarks for best-in-class programs. There are certainly other measures produced by other industry groups. Yet, these do provide a valuable yardstick for assessing an organization’s relative strength or weakness in contingent workforce management.
To improve an organizations standing in the above areas, workforce management leaders must focus on activities that drive improvement in data-driven planning, procurement excellence and quality. These activities may include a contemporary “Big Data” practice for better business intelligence; improved standardization in such areas as operations, on/offboarding, category management, expansion methodologies and others; and strong compliance processes to protect quality and eligibility of all contractors.
The Ardent Partners report also offers broad recommendations for all organizations pursuing best-in-class status in the workforce management programs. Whether it is focusing on the implications of talent globalization, achieving standardization quickly for new and emerging talent types, innovative application of the latest technology solutions or fielding a robust SOW management process to accommodate the increase in usage of SOW contractors, the fact is, the industry is rapidly evolving. The economic environment demands organizations embrace strategies enabling the agility needed to survive. Organizations no longer enjoy the luxury of holding best-in-class operations up as an ideal. They must achieve excellence or risk being beaten by their competition. Is your program best-in-class? Ask nextSource to help you assess your program and find ways to approach best-in-class operations.